If you’re looking to change careers or even to start one, being a sales representative is a good way to go. However, though you may have some experience if you were a boy or a girl scout selling cookies or raffle tickets, this is tough work. It can get extremely frustrating due to a high rate of rejection. At the same time, though, it can be very rewarding both professionally and financially.
A sales representative is the person that stands between someone that needs something and the company that fulfills that need, either through a product or a service.
There are some things to take into account if you’re just now beginning to explore this potential work field.
Too shy to talk?
It’s important that you know that there’s something you have to admit even before you start educating yourself in the matter and start looking for sales jobs: it won’t work if you’re shy. You have to be ready to talk to people, engage in conversations, and many times, canvas through neighborhoods knocking on every door, trying to make a sale. That’s particularly tough because the people that you approach weren’t actually looking to purchase something, they were not expecting you; it’s your job to convince them and make the sale.
So, if this is something that seems unlikely for you, you shouldn’t go any further. At the end of the day, this feature of yours is non-negotiable. Pun intended.
There’s no formal training for a sales representative, meaning you won’t find a particular college curriculum for this. There are some college degrees that might help you indirectly.
On your own, you could highlight your natural skills by taking drama, speech and communication classes. It can’t hurt, right?
However, there are industries that do require some background knowledge. A pharmaceutical representative will be expected to have a clear understanding and knowledge of science or even medicine.
You definitely need to have a deep grasp of the product or service you’re selling, otherwise it won’t work. You can’t really play it by hear. Some companies provide training for their representatives because they want them to use specific sales tactics and speeches. Others will just let you do your own thing as long as at the end of the day you provide them with accomplished sales.
A representative’s salary will vary depending on what you agree with your employer. This will also depend on either the high or low demand of the product you’re selling. If there’s a lot of competition, you will most likely not get the most stable deal. On the best case you will get a salary with bonuses when meeting a pre-established sales quota. The most common cases are a salary and commissions and the worst but very common scenario is commissions only. If you’re just starting, I wouldn’t recommend a commissions-only deal since you could go months without having any money coming in. This will depend of course on what’s your main source of income and if you rely on this money to make ends meet or not.
Make sure to check out the Representative Wanted section of iNetGiant. If you already did your homework, this is a great source of future employment.